Any shot at MBB or other top Strat Consulting?

Princeton_Tiger's picture
Rank: Chimp | 11

Incoming college senior here. As FT recruiting season is approaching, I would like to know what kind of expectations I should have moving forward.

I know that doing lots of case prep for consulting interviews is crucial, but that only matters if you can land the consulting interviews in the first place.

My background:

-3.3 GPA in Economics and Stats (double major) at Princeton
-PWM at BB internship summer after soph year
-Risk Management/ Analysis internship at non-BB bank summer after junior year

My top career choice would be S&T or IBD, but given the state of the economy, I would like to know if consulting would be a viable option for me to consider given my profile. Given my stats, would I be a competitive applicant for MBB/ Oliver Wyman/ Booz Allen type of firms?? Any advice in securing an offer from such firms would be greatly appreciated. The main concern I have is my (relatively) low GPA and lack of relevant internship experience.

Thanks in advance..

Comments (10)

Aug 14, 2012
Princeton_Tiger:

Incoming college senior here. As FT recruiting season is approaching, I would like to know what kind of expectations I should have moving forward.

I know that doing lots of case prep for consulting interviews is crucial, but that only matters if you can land the consulting interviews in the first place.

My background:

-3.3 GPA in Economics and Stats (double major) at Princeton
-PWM at BB internship summer after soph year
-Risk Management/ Analysis internship at non-BB bank summer after junior year

My top career choice would be S&T or IBD, but given the state of the economy, I would like to know if consulting would be a viable option for me to consider given my profile. Given my stats, would I be a competitive applicant for MBB/ Oliver Wyman/ Booz Allen type of firms?? Any advice in securing an offer from such firms would be greatly appreciated. The main concern I have is my (relatively) low GPA and lack of relevant internship experience.

Thanks in advance..

I think given the fact that you go to Princeton (which I am guessing MBB recruits from), you should be just fine getting an interview. Once you are in, just kill the cases and you should be fine.

Aug 14, 2012
trailmix8:
Princeton_Tiger:

Incoming college senior here. As FT recruiting season is approaching, I would like to know what kind of expectations I should have moving forward.

I know that doing lots of case prep for consulting interviews is crucial, but that only matters if you can land the consulting interviews in the first place.

My background:

-3.3 GPA in Economics and Stats (double major) at Princeton
-PWM at BB internship summer after soph year
-Risk Management/ Analysis internship at non-BB bank summer after junior year

My top career choice would be S&T or IBD, but given the state of the economy, I would like to know if consulting would be a viable option for me to consider given my profile. Given my stats, would I be a competitive applicant for MBB/ Oliver Wyman/ Booz Allen type of firms?? Any advice in securing an offer from such firms would be greatly appreciated. The main concern I have is my (relatively) low GPA and lack of relevant internship experience.

Thanks in advance..

I think given the fact that you go to Princeton (which I am guessing MBB recruits from), you should be just fine getting an interview. Once you are in, just kill the cases and you should be fine.

Hmm , if it doesn't work out this time , you should join a big name company Disney, Google , Microsoft , Twitter , Facebook - etc. Excel there , take a shot at good Bschool and try again.

Aug 14, 2012

helper325,
I believe everyone has seen your consulting cafe website by now. Enough already.

Aug 14, 2012

Let me introduce myself before I give you my opinion. I graduated in Finance from a top 30 school in May 2012.

I think you have a decent shot of getting into a MBB, as decent as getting into S&T or IBD. I do not think either is easier than the other. Mostly because I think its quite hard to get a interview in S&T or IBD with the hiring cuts/freezes. I speak from experience of being in a lower ranked school. We rarely got interviews for these positions. But the interviews are not that hard, just look at the WSO prep guide as well as the other competitor, I do not want to mention them on this site, but I am sure you and a lot of other people know what I am talking about.

Consulting in my opinion is much harder at the interviews. They have a painstaking 3-4 round process. This is also because I never liked or were good at cases. But from my friends at the Ivies or Stanford who practiced their cases or were good at them, if they had your stats they usually got the job. Are you good at case interviews or do you need to practice them? If you do, then consulting will be difficult, just because of the time required to prepare. Most students do 30-45 cases if they want to be good, so start practicing now.

Also if you are worried about not getting the interview, just change everything you can. You obviously cannot change you resume but you can network well. I am sure most of the students who have great resumes do not network well or often. I'm guessing this behavior is similar and more often at Princeton than it even is at Lehigh. But networking does do wonders. I have gotten some interviews from companies that only hire exclusively from the top schools, such as PIMCO/BlackRock for PM. I ruined them because I did not prepare well enough.

Sorry for the ramble, network now. Look through Linkedin for mutual contacts, doesn't even matter if you do not know the mutual contacts. Say you do to the person you are talking to. Just call, cold emails and emails in regular do not work well. They just waste time. Call when they are probably not busy, Monday right before they arrive on the client site. Find Princeton alumni.

Aug 14, 2012

lol double major at princeton? at least do your due diligence before you decide to troll

Aug 16, 2012
swordfish24:

lol double major at princeton? at least do your due diligence before you decide to troll

OP here. Although I am not technically 'double' major, I've taken more math and stats classes (in econ, math, and ORFE departments) at P-ton, which would qualify me to be a 'triple' major at almost any other college. (in econ, stats, and math) Yeah, I know that Princeton doesn't officially 'award' double-major degree, but I was hoping that employers at OCR would take note of my very demanding course selection, and hence give a bit of leeway for having a less than stellar GPA despite being an Econ major (which many employers think is one of 'easier' majors)

The thing is that there are so many Econ kids at Princeton who rock 3.7+ GPA, and I was hoping that I could sell my demanding and very quant-heavy course work to top employers, in order to keep myself competitive.

Aug 14, 2012

haha i think people are underestimating how hard it is to get an interview even from a top target for MBB. depends on your peers obviously, but my guess is that a 3.3 is not gonna cut it unless you know a first year analyst on the inside who's gonna pass your resume through (thats what happened with some of my buddies).

you may get an interview but you certainly won't be a competitive applicant. here's what happened to other people i know with stats like yours: most applied to the new york or boston offices and got cut before making it to 2nd round even if they "passed" the ocr stage. (i was told by my McKinsey "buddy" -- the one you get assigned to during the recruiting process -- that even if you get "go aheads" from your two on-campus interviewers, you can still get turned down if your offices don't want you based on your resume. and normally they would send you to your other choices, but last year was so competitive that smaller offices were pretty hard to get into to. so if they saw that you didn't list them as a first choice, they're not likely to accept you.)

i suggest this - reach out to your contacts currently in mbb and see if you can network your way to a first round. if you get it, apply to a smaller office (aka not sf, ny, bos) as a FIRST choice, then kill your second round cases.

as a point of reference, almost everyone i know starting in the new york offices of McKinsey and BCG were phi beta kappa. bain's bar was a bit lower just because their first year ac class is so large so they had a little more room to spare, but most of them graduated cum laude or magna cum laude.

Aug 16, 2012
mochadoubleshot:

haha i think people are underestimating how hard it is to get an interview even from a top target for MBB. depends on your peers obviously, but my guess is that a 3.3 is not gonna cut it unless you know a first year analyst on the inside who's gonna pass your resume through (thats what happened with some of my buddies).

you may get an interview but you certainly won't be a competitive applicant. here's what happened to other people i know with stats like yours: most applied to the new york or boston offices and got cut before making it to 2nd round even if they "passed" the ocr stage. (i was told by my McKinsey "buddy" -- the one you get assigned to during the recruiting process -- that even if you get "go aheads" from your two on-campus interviewers, you can still get turned down if your offices don't want you based on your resume. and normally they would send you to your other choices, but last year was so competitive that smaller offices were pretty hard to get into to. so if they saw that you didn't list them as a first choice, they're not likely to accept you.)

i suggest this - reach out to your contacts currently in mbb and see if you can network your way to a first round. if you get it, apply to a smaller office (aka not sf, ny, bos) as a FIRST choice, then kill your second round cases.

as a point of reference, almost everyone i know starting in the new york offices of McKinsey and BCG were phi beta kappa. bain's bar was a bit lower just because their first year ac class is so large so they had a little more room to spare, but most of them graduated cum laude or magna cum laude.

Thanks for your constructive feedback.

I was wondering - I've taken lots of math and stats-heavy quant courses at P-ton, which I think hurt my GPA quite a bit. Considering that the reason I have a mediocre GPA is due to my pretty difficult and quant-heavy coursework, would consulting firms give any sort of leeway regarding my GPA? Or, am I screwed and worse off than any other 3.6+ GPA Econ kid at Princeton who hasn't taken a single math course beyond Calculus I?

Aug 16, 2012
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